Location: SCR 352
BILL SUMMARY for Fossil Fuels and the Role They Play in an Energized World
COMMITTEE ON SELECT COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
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10:35 AM -- Fossil Fuels and the Role They Play in an Energized World
John Harpole, Mercator Energy, introduced himself to the committee and provided the committee with brief background. Mr. Harpool discussed oil consumption in the United States and across the world, specifically mentioning the increasing world population. Mr. Harpool compared the quality of life as it relates to energy consumption, noting that statistically, countries with lower electricity usage tend to have a lower quality of life. He discussed indoor air pollution that people who do not have access to electric stoves.
Mr. Harpool discussed the evolution of oil and gas extraction beginning with extraction from a conventional reservoir to the more modern practice of hydraulic fracturing. Mr. Harpool discussed the world natural gas consumption and explained the differences between extracting oil and gas from conventional and unconventional reservoirs. He explained that the goal of hydraulic fracturing is to increase the rate at which the well is capable of producing oil and gas and discussed the growth of the hydraulic fracturing industry in the last ten years. He discussed precautions that oil and gas producers take when fracking.
Mr. Harpool discussed the exportation of oil and gas and the distribution of oil and gas worldwide. Mr. Harpool discussed the worldwide production of oil and the declining process of oil and gas in countries such as Venezuela, Saudi Arbia. He also discussed the duration of countries' oil reserves. Mr. Harpool stated that the oil and natural gas production in the United States continues to grow, even while prices decline.
Mr. Harpool stated that low natural gas prices will benefit residents, especially in low-income areas. He stated that inexpensive energy leads to more job growth and made comments regarding oil and gas production.
Mr. Harpool responded to questions from the committee regarding the import and export of oil and natural gas in the country. He also responded to questions regarding shale reserves in the United States and worldwide, stating that the United States has more geological control than other countries. He explained why so many western European countries are dependant on Russia for oil and natural gas and discussed the geopolitical circumstances surrounding hydraulic fracturing in the region. Mr. Harpool answered questions regarding federal policies affecting oil and gas, such as the recent lift of the ban on drilling on federal public lands and the approval of the Keystone Pipeline.
Dollis Wright, CEO Quality Environmental Professional Associates, introduced herself to the committee and distributed two handouts to the committee: testimony regarding House Bill 17-1256 (Attachment A) and a report from American Petroleum Institute entitled "Managing Health Risks Associated with Oil and Gas Development Activities" (Attachment B). Ms. Wright discussed the possibility of health risks from oil and gas production and used air as an example of those chemicals can lead to exposure to people. Ms. Wright discussed risk assessment studies and described the steps of a standard risk assessment study, including hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization.
170420 AttachA.pdf170420 AttachB.pdf
Ms. Wright discussed the CSU Air Quality Emission Study (2016), and stated that CDPHE is going to use this study in order to do a future risk assessment for oil and gas sites. She discussed how studies have screened for health assessment risks. She discussed studies done in Weld County concerning health risks from oil and gas production. Ms. Wright discussed the precautionary principle, when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken. She stated that the principles usually put in place to prevent or correct action to reduce or eliminate the risk of harm.
Ms. Wright discussed public health perceptions that come from certain studies and explained why the data in some studies can mislead public perception. Ms. Wright talked about public health accountability and continued to discuss studies that can be incomplete in their conclusions. Ms. Wright advocated that public health decisions should be made with deference to sound science.
Susan Nedell, Rocky Mountains Advocate for Environmental Entrepreneurs, introduced herself to the committee and distributed copies of Clean Jobs Colorado (Attachment C) to the committee. Ms. Nedell discussed clean energy jobs in the state and the renewable energy industry.
Erin Overturf, Chief Energy Counsel, Western Resources Advocates, introduced herself to the committee and distributed a copy of her presentation to the committee (Attachment D). Ms. Overturf discussed Colorado clean energy opportunities and broad policy goals, such as safe, reliable electricity service, cost-effectiveness, clean air and water, and protection of public health. Ms. Overturf discussed different levels of energy usage, noting that there is still a high demand for natural gas. She discussed technology and its impact on decarbonization and its cost effectiveness. Ms. Overturf responded to questions regarding renewable energy technologies.
The committee adjourned